American Idol’s Sundance Head: Freak of the Week
The only portion of Fox TVs American Idol that I despise more than the audition process, is the three week period in which twenty-four contestants are whittled down to the final twelve. Like any refining process, you inevitably get exposed to a lot of impurities before the quality material is harvested. Along the way, there is always an unavoidable risk that some of the best stuff gets tossed-out (for various reasons.) The ‘dirty work’ quickly wanes; the show proceeds with its theme weeks; and we finally get to see what the singers are really made of.
Up to now, things have gone pretty well for Idol’s sixth season. I would have made the audition weeks a lot shorter (no more than two nights showcasing the ‘best of the best’) and I would have relegated the horrible and crazy people to a single night of performances. Any more than that, and you are just wasting time as far as I am concerned. The first couple of seasons I tolerated the nonsense that came at the expense of people who should never get to sing in public. Now it seems so tired and uninspiring. I find myself wishing it away as quickly as it appears.
Four men and four women have been eliminated thus far; most deserved the fate they were handed. One girl that avoided the axe this week should have been removed as soon as her racy pictures appeared on the web. I will not mention this contestant by name because she has received enough publicity (I am sure you know who I am referring to.) It leaves me to question the logic behind keeping her on a show that is billed as family friendly. Oh well, that’s why Simon Fuller is a rich bastard and I am not.
All controversy aside, watching Thursday’s eliminations inspired my pick for Freak of the Week. Tears have always played a big part in the weekly, overdrawn, goodbyes we have to put with on American Idol. Typically they come from the girl’s side of the competition. For some strange reason, we have some guys this year who aren’t afraid to show their softer side. My favorite cry-baby of the bunch happens to be Sundance Head. I don’t think there was one person voted off that didn’t elicit some kind of sobbing on his part. Imagine a Barbara Walters interview with this fool?
According to his bio, our tearful contestant comes from Porter, Texas. He is the son of Roy Head, a man who enjoyed having a hit single (“Treat Her Right”) on the pop and R&B charts in 1965. Sundance was obviously influenced by his father, who was considered one of the finest ‘blue-eyed soul’ singers of the 60s. Whether or not he will be able to hold a candle to his old man’s talent is debatable at this point. I do expect him to make it to the final twelve. He seems to have enough support from the home audience to stick around, but you never know.
After a rough start, Sundance was able to redeem himself by singing ‘Mustang Sally’ on Tuesday night. Last week, he sang an embarrassing version of ‘Nights in White Satin’ that didn’t impress anyone, yet he managed to make it through to face another day. While his performance of Wilson Picket’s classic didn’t blow my socks off, it was much better than the turd he laid in the first round.
One thing I can’t stand is his facial hair. I realize he is probably just trying to mask a double chin, but it makes him look like King Tut from TVs Batman (portrayed by the late Victor Buono.) Someone should call those guys from Queer Eye and get him a proper makeover. The only other lingering issue he may have to deal with is his uncontrollable blubbering. The guy can’t seem to stop when the cameras are rolling.
As far as I can tell, Sundance first turned on his water works (for all of America to see) this past Tuesday when he dedicated his song to his four-month-old son, Levi. Frankly, it was a little too much for me to handle. Don’t try to tug at my heart strings, they have long since frayed and disappeared. If he misses his wife and kid so much, fly them out to Hollywood or pack it up and go home to Texas. He should be grateful that the boy is too young to hold this against his father when he’s a little older.
It had been such a slow week for worthy freaks; I was running low on ideas. After I watched the show, I knew Sundance would be a great choice. Like all good freaks, there is something about him that makes us want to see more, no matter how wrong it may seem. You can’t watch a guy like him cry like a baby on TV and not find it hilarious. If he sticks around long enough, Fox might get enough footage of his weeping to fill a two-hour special. The way all things related to AI clean up in the ratings, it would probably beat most prime-time shows (Kleenex can sponsor!)
So here’s to you, Sundance Head, the latest Freak of the Week. May you cry yourself into the finals!
Update (as of March 9):
All of the tears in the world couldn’t help Sundance escape his sad fate on American Idol. After singing a horrible rendition of Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” in the most recent round of competition, he was one of four contestants eliminated on Thursday’s (March 8) broadcast. This means he will not join the traveling version of the show (barring some unforeseen circumstance) once the season is over. Time will tell whether or not he can have a career beyond this moment; at least we had the opportunity to enjoy him for a little while.
Buck up Sundance! Kleenex may be calling you yet.